Gabrielle Ray

'Gabrielle Ray said, 'I am always dancing; I love it! When I don't dance, I sing. What else is there to do?'

Gabrielle Ray – A Girl on the Stage – Truth – Wednesday 9th May 1906


 

THE THEATRES.

 “A GIRL ON THE STAGE,” AT THE PRINCE OF WALES’.

 

“The Little Cherub” has grown to be “A Girl on the Stage.” The girl has retained a good many of the attributes of the cherub, but whereas formerly there was no son to the Earl of Sanctobury, that peer of Exeter-Hall-cum-Tivoli propensities is now credited with a son and heir, who loves, becomes engaged to, and eventually marries Miss Molly Montrose. Mr. Owen Hall now makes the elderly peer wish to marry the maiden, and develops the cross-purposes of father and son, ending in a conflict between parental and amorous proclivities on the part of the former. Of course, Lord Sanctobury yields, and Miss Molly Montrose marries Mr. Lionel Mackinder.

The chief charm of Saturday evening last lay in the appearance of Miss Ruth Vincent as Molly Montrose. This lady showed us in “Veronique” that she could sing, could act, and withal foot it neatly, a happy result of the Savoy training, which showed itself clearly in the performance of the latest of the school. This became evident again with the singing of Mr. Ivan Caryll’s ”Rather Nice,” and in the duet of the second act with Mr. Mackinder. Miss Vincent quite won our hearts. Little did we think that those hearts were going so soon to be tried; little did we imagine as Miss Vincent prepared in the last act to sing of “Love and Laughter,” “the best things in the world,” that tears would flow instead. Yet at the very moment that the conductor’s wand awaited the first vocal note, with a tiny cry Miss Vincent fell back insensible on the stage. This was by far the most dramatic moment of the evening, and little attention was paid to the doings of Mr. Edouin, who came forward to continue the piece, until we had a message to say that it was only a fainting fit, and that Miss Vincent would be well enough to continue in a few moments. I shall not forget for a long while the emotion of that pretty blonde pierrette figure with “love and laughter” on her lips, and her audience hanging on these, suddenly, as it were, called back to the vale of tears and carried off the stage insensible. It was as if Nature had said: “I, too, can be dramatic, and I will show you my power in your own human play exactly at the dramatic moment.”

I must not dwell longer upon this incident, which closed so happily with the reappearance of Miss Vincent, hand-in-hand with Miss Zena Dare, herself the very spirit of girlish gaiety, and in the new play provided with an attractive song, “Cupid and the Pierrot,” which she delivers from the rostrum of a high-backed chair with great effect. Miss Gabrielle Ray’s piping treble echoes all through the play, and she, too, has a new song, “Merry-go-round,” which she sings in grey tights, with a background of purple-clad men. Mr. Willie Edouin played the part of the elderly peer with much punctilio, but I seemed to miss the merry twinkle and the apparent irresponsibility which has so often captivated me in this comedian. Mr. Berry, as Shingle, the valet, came out very strong in his topical song of the last act, and fairly won the house. He dealt with all manner of subjects, from the policy of the Government to the disaster at San Francisco, and his description of Signor Caruso seated clad only in his shirt in the garden of the tumbling hotel and singing “Blow, gentle breeze,” was in the best spirit of opera bouffe.

There are two girls less among the principals, but the great principles are maintained, and plenty of others newly and gorgeously attired are to hand, headed by Miss Dunbar, who sings of them as “Currants in a Bun,” “Dairy Maids,” “Bath Buns,” “Currant Buns,” “Girls Behind the Counter,” “On the Stage,” those who leave it to marry peers, etc. – one cannot walk a step without meeting them. But many petticoats do not make talent; that is always rare, though you will see both at the Prince of Wales’ Theatre when you see Miss Ruth Vincent.

 

Truth – Wednesday 9th May 1906

 

March 15, 2020 - Posted by | A Girl on the Stage, Actress, Gabrielle Ray, Social History, The Little Cherub, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , ,

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